2. Stan Smyl
How could I not put the “Steamer” on this list? Stan Smyl was selected in the 3rd round at 40th overall of the 1978 Amateur Draft. Keep in mind, this was back when there were just 17 teams in the NHL.
Smyl left his home in Alberta to join the Bellingham Blazers of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League. Nicknamed the “Steamer” for his hard-nosed style of play, the sixteen-year-old led Bellingham to a Fred Page Cup title, scoring 33 points in 25 playoff games. He then played junior hockey as a member of the New Westminster Bruins, whom he served as captain for, where he picked up 212 points in 197 games over the course of three seasons.
Although smaller in stature, at just 5’8 (5’10 with skates on), Smyl played with an undeniable level of passion and as mentioned above, played an extremely hard-nosed game. However, it was his size that made so many teams pass up on him, and was the main reason that he was still available for the Canucks to pick in the third round.
Smyl would go on to record 673 points in 896 games over the course of his 13-year NHL career. Smyl played every single game of his career for the Canucks, and he became the first Canucks player to have his jersey number retired as his #12 was raised to the rafters at the Pacific Coliseum on November 3, 1991. In 2000, he was inducted into the British Columbia Hockey Hall of Fame. Smyl was a steal of a pick, and will always be a Canucks legend.